Anatomy Teaching, a “Model” Answer? Evaluating “Geoff”, a Painted Anatomical Horse, as a Tool for Enhancing Topographical Anatomy Learning

Bietzk, E and Weller, R and Simons, V and Channon, S B (2018) Anatomy Teaching, a “Model” Answer? Evaluating “Geoff”, a Painted Anatomical Horse, as a Tool for Enhancing Topographical Anatomy Learning. ANATOMICAL SCIENCES EDUCATION.

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Abstract

Development of new methods for anatomy teaching is increasingly important as we look to modernize and supplement traditional teaching methods. In this study, a life‐sized equine model, “Geoff” was painted with surface and deep anatomical structures with the aim of improving students’ ability to convert theoretical knowledge into improved topographical anatomy knowledge on the live horse. Third and fourth year veterinary medicine students (n = 45) were randomly allocated into experimental (used “Geoff”) and control (used textbook) groups. The efficacy of the model was evaluated through a structured oral exam using a live horse. Questionnaires gathered information on student confidence and enjoyment of the task. There was no significant difference in the performance of experimental and control groups either immediately (44±20% vs. 40±21%; P = 0.504) or 9 weeks after the learning intervention (55±17% vs. 55±20%; P = 0.980). There were however specific questions on which the experimental group performed better than controls, and for which gender effects were apparent. The students using “Geoff” showed a transient gain in confidence following the session (Likert scale 2.7 to 3.6) however the initial increase was no longer present at the second test. There was a significant influence of gender on confidence with greater confidence gains in females in the Experimental group. The students found the model to be extremely useful and both groups found the sessions enjoyable. The model will be of benefit as a complementary learning tool for students.